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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16723
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Red Healer 12 years oldpanting (hard)whiningrolling on

Customer Question

Red Healer 12 years old
panting (hard)
rolling on ground
went around the house and literally rolled up all the rugs in the house
he does have bad hips, we know that.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response, but your requested expert isn't online which delayed your question coming up on the list for all to answer. I would like to help if you are still interested in an opinion.
I understand your concern about your fellow's hard panting and rolling on the ground on any rug he can find.
He is either experiencing very bad abdominal pain or is very, very itchy due to an allergic reaction. If he is not bloated in appearance and doesn't seem uncomfortable with gentle abdominal pressure then this is
likely an allergic reaction and he is very very itchy.
This is usually related to an insect bite or sting. Sometimes we never figure out the cause because the bite/sting is covered up by diffuse swelling.
Treatment is based upon stopping further allergic reaction with antihistamines like Benadryl and sometimes cortisone if the reaction progresses.
Any vomiting or diarrhea?
Any change in his gum or tongue color? They should be a nice bubblegum pink. If they are very pale, or blue gray in color then this is a true emergency and he needs immediate veterinary care.
If his color is good and he isn't vomiting you can give him Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic for dogs) at a dose of 1mg to 2mg per pound or one 25mg capsule per 15 to 25 pounds of body weight orally every 8 hours. You'll need to give it for at least 72 hours (3 days) to allow the allergen time to clear. If you stop too soon the reaction will recur. Dogs take a really high dose of antihistamines compared to people, so don't let the amount worry you. They require more than we do. This may make him a little sleepy.
You can also apply a cool compress to the worst areas (often face and ears) and/or give him a cool water bath with an oatmeal based shampoo to soothe his skin. The cool water will close skin capillaries and reduce inflammation and oatmeal reduces inflammation. Lather gently, let it sit for several minutes and then rinse with cool water.
And then you'll need to watch him closely for any progression of symptoms. That includes difficulty breathing such that his color becomes poor and he is struggling to breathe due to facial/neck swelling, vomiting or diarrhea.
The itchy feeling should resolve slowly over the next 12 to 24 hours.
In extreme allergic reactions they can get shocky and collapse but you should see difficulty breathing and vomiting/diarrhea first. Those types of severe reactions are very rare.
Most reactions are managed just fine with antihistamines alone.
Because you know now that he has these types of reactions you should keep Benadryl on hand at all times.
If you notice progression of his symptoms don't wait, have him checked on an emergency basis.
If you'd like you can have his regular vet check her now. They can give a cortisone injection which will lessen symptoms faster. But if he seems to be doing well then I would just call them and let them know so it is on his record for future reference.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.